It’s beginning to look a lot like March 2020 all over again, with live events getting cancelled or postponed due to the ongoing omicron outbreak. The latest major event to push the pause button is SF Sketchfest. The comedy festival, which was scheduled to run from Jan. 7 to Jan. 23 in San Francisco, has been postponed to a later date that has yet to be determined.
2022 is the 20th anniversary of the festival, which was started by comedians David Owen, Janet Varney, and Cole Stratton, and its lineup was packed with great shows to celebrate the occasion. The schedule included stand-up shows from Maria Bamford, Todd Barry, and many others; a Futurama panel; a tribute to The State offshoot Viva Variety; multiple live podcasts and sketch shows; a table read of Role Models featuring an all-star cast of frequent David Wain collaborators; and a ton of other shows and events over its Olympics-like 16 days. None of it will be happening now, or at least not in January.
In a statement released today, festival co-founders Varney, Owen and Stratton announced the postponement and their intention of rescheduling as many of the scheduled events as possible. “The safety of our artists, staff and audiences is our number one priority,” the statement begins. “Over the past week we have had many artists reach out to us to express concern about traveling and performing at a time when the Covid Omicron variant is causing increased positive cases and breakthrough infections around the country. We have also had some artists and staff members test positive for Covid. Faced with multiple artist, show, and flight cancellations, we have made the tough decision to postpone the festival to a later date, which will be announced in the coming weeks. Our goal is to keep as much of the original lineup intact as possible. As always, we are grateful for the continued support and understanding of the comedy fans and community and look forward to rescheduling SF Sketchfest.”
If you had tickets to any of the festival’s events, the Sketchfest organizers will contact you with options once the new dates are announced. If you have questions about your tickets and the postponement, they request that you send an email to email@example.com.
This is no doubt a major bummer for comedy fans in the Bay area, and for everybody involved with SF Sketchfest. It’s also the smartest and most responsible decision any event organizers can make right now, given the surge in the omicron variant. Hopefully Covid will settle down enough where events like SF Sketchfest become possible later in 2022.